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Virology

City of Hope’s Department of Virology strives to better understand the origin and development of herpes simplex virus and other herpes viruses, the biology of cytomegalovirus (a prime concern for HIV-infected and other immunocompromised patients such as transplant recipients), vaccine development and experimental therapies using gene transfer vectors such as adeno-associated virus (AAV) and lentivirus. Viral vectors have shown great promise in treating both cancers and HIV.

John A. Zaia, M.D., chair of the department, plays an integral role in the Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Program’s efforts to understand the biology of cytomegalovirus (CMV)-related pneumonitis, which was a major limitation to the success of bone marrow transplantation, and later went on to develop the gene therapy program at City of Hope, focused on treatment of HIV with genetically modified stem cells and T cells.

The Department of Virology comprises more than 50 personnel, including professors, associate professors, support scientists, postdoctoral fellows, research associates, laboratory aides and administrative support.
 
Laboratory Research

John Zaia, M.D. – Antiviral Research
Zaia, department chair, joined City of Hope from Harvard in 1980. He directs two clinical research labs, the Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Lab and the HIV Lab, with interests in antiviral development in the area of herpes viruses and HIV. The CMV laboratory studies the immunobiology of CMV infection after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) with emphasis on immune factors necessary for protection. The HIV laboratory focuses on developing new treatments for HIV/AIDS using optimal genetic vectors for anti-HIV gene transfer and novel drug therapy.

Edouard Cantin, Ph.D. – Neurovirology and Neuroimmunology
Cantin is director of the Laboratory of Neurovirology and Neuroimmunology. He investigates the role of the host immune response in the pathogenesis herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections in vivo, with particular emphasis on CNS infections and the regulation of latency. His laboratory is also investigating the mechanisms by which intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) act as a potent immunomodulatory drug to suppress virus induced hyper-inflammatory responses that in the CNS culminate in fatal encephalitis following infection with HSV or West Nile virus, or fatal pneumonia following infection with highly pathogenic influenza virus strains, such as pandemic H1N1. A long-term interest is to understand the genetic basis of innate resistance to HSV, as this may suggest rational approaches to controlling recurrent infections, and the development of serious diseases such as encephalitis.
 
Saswati Chatterjee, Ph.D. – Gene Therapy
Chatterjee directs the Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) Laboratory and is interested in the biology of AAV vectors for therapeutic gene transfer. Her specific areas of interest include stem cell-based genetic therapies of acquired and inherited diseases, including HIV infection, cancer, cardiovascular and genetic diseases; virus discovery research in human stem cells and the study of genetic elements necessary for optimal gene-based therapies. She evaluates gene therapy approaches in both in vitro and in vivo pre-clinical models, with targeted progression toward clinical human gene therapy trials.

Jiing-Kuan Yee, Ph.D.Modeling human diseases with stem cells
Dr. Yee is interested in using cell reprogramming and gene editing to establish ex vivo human genetic disease models to explore the underlying disease mechanisms and develop therapeutic strategies for treatment.  He has established fibroblast-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from spinal muscular atrophy and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome patients.  He is studying the phenotypes of cells differentiated from these iPSC lines to understand the pathogenesis of the disease.  He is also using gene editing technology to modify the genome of the iPSCs to explore the possibility of treating these diseases with cell replacement therapy.
 
Experimental Therapeutics
The Department of Experimental Therapeutics was formed to address priorities in vaccine research that will potentially impact patient outcomes at City of Hope and other cancer centers worldwide.

Virology Faculty

Virology

Virology

City of Hope’s Department of Virology strives to better understand the origin and development of herpes simplex virus and other herpes viruses, the biology of cytomegalovirus (a prime concern for HIV-infected and other immunocompromised patients such as transplant recipients), vaccine development and experimental therapies using gene transfer vectors such as adeno-associated virus (AAV) and lentivirus. Viral vectors have shown great promise in treating both cancers and HIV.

John A. Zaia, M.D., chair of the department, plays an integral role in the Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Program’s efforts to understand the biology of cytomegalovirus (CMV)-related pneumonitis, which was a major limitation to the success of bone marrow transplantation, and later went on to develop the gene therapy program at City of Hope, focused on treatment of HIV with genetically modified stem cells and T cells.

The Department of Virology comprises more than 50 personnel, including professors, associate professors, support scientists, postdoctoral fellows, research associates, laboratory aides and administrative support.
 
Laboratory Research

John Zaia, M.D. – Antiviral Research
Zaia, department chair, joined City of Hope from Harvard in 1980. He directs two clinical research labs, the Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Lab and the HIV Lab, with interests in antiviral development in the area of herpes viruses and HIV. The CMV laboratory studies the immunobiology of CMV infection after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) with emphasis on immune factors necessary for protection. The HIV laboratory focuses on developing new treatments for HIV/AIDS using optimal genetic vectors for anti-HIV gene transfer and novel drug therapy.

Edouard Cantin, Ph.D. – Neurovirology and Neuroimmunology
Cantin is director of the Laboratory of Neurovirology and Neuroimmunology. He investigates the role of the host immune response in the pathogenesis herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections in vivo, with particular emphasis on CNS infections and the regulation of latency. His laboratory is also investigating the mechanisms by which intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) act as a potent immunomodulatory drug to suppress virus induced hyper-inflammatory responses that in the CNS culminate in fatal encephalitis following infection with HSV or West Nile virus, or fatal pneumonia following infection with highly pathogenic influenza virus strains, such as pandemic H1N1. A long-term interest is to understand the genetic basis of innate resistance to HSV, as this may suggest rational approaches to controlling recurrent infections, and the development of serious diseases such as encephalitis.
 
Saswati Chatterjee, Ph.D. – Gene Therapy
Chatterjee directs the Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) Laboratory and is interested in the biology of AAV vectors for therapeutic gene transfer. Her specific areas of interest include stem cell-based genetic therapies of acquired and inherited diseases, including HIV infection, cancer, cardiovascular and genetic diseases; virus discovery research in human stem cells and the study of genetic elements necessary for optimal gene-based therapies. She evaluates gene therapy approaches in both in vitro and in vivo pre-clinical models, with targeted progression toward clinical human gene therapy trials.

Jiing-Kuan Yee, Ph.D.Modeling human diseases with stem cells
Dr. Yee is interested in using cell reprogramming and gene editing to establish ex vivo human genetic disease models to explore the underlying disease mechanisms and develop therapeutic strategies for treatment.  He has established fibroblast-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from spinal muscular atrophy and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome patients.  He is studying the phenotypes of cells differentiated from these iPSC lines to understand the pathogenesis of the disease.  He is also using gene editing technology to modify the genome of the iPSCs to explore the possibility of treating these diseases with cell replacement therapy.
 
Experimental Therapeutics
The Department of Experimental Therapeutics was formed to address priorities in vaccine research that will potentially impact patient outcomes at City of Hope and other cancer centers worldwide.

Virology Faculty

Virology Faculty

Overview
Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope is responsible for fundamentally expanding the world’s understanding of how biology affects diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and diabetes.
 
 
Research Departments/Divisions

City of Hope is a leader in translational research - integrating basic science, clinical research and patient care.
 

Research Shared Services

City of Hope embodies the spirit of scientific collaboration by sharing services and core facilities with colleagues here and around the world.
 

Our Scientists

Our research laboratories are led by the best and brightest minds in scientific research.
 

City of Hope’s Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences equips students with the skills and strategies to transform the future of modern medicine.
Develop new therapies, diagnostics and preventions in the fight against cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
 


NEWS & UPDATES
  • Equipping the immune system to fight cancer – a disease that thrives on mutations and circumventing the body’s natural defenses – is within reach. In fact, City of Hope researchers are testing one approach in clinical trials now. Scientists take a number of steps to turn cancer patients’ T cells – white b...
  • As treatments for lung cancer become more targeted and effective, the need for better technology to detect lung cancer mutations becomes increasingly important. A new clinical study at City of Hope is examining the feasibility of using blood and urine tests to detect lung cancer mutations, potentially allowing ...
  • When it comes to breast cancer risk, insulin levels may matter more than weight, new research has found. The study from Imperial College London School of Public Health, published in the journal Cancer Research, indicates that metabolic health – not a person’s weight or body mass index – increases breast cancer ...
  • No one ever plans to have cancer – and there’s never a good time. For Homa Sadat, her cancer came at a particularly bad time: just one year after losing her father to the pancreatic cancer he had battled for two years. She was working a grueling schedule managing three commercial office buildings. She’d just [&...
  • Patients at City of Hope – most of whom are fighting cancer – rely on more than 37,000 units of blood and platelets each year for their treatment and survival. Every one of those units comes from family, friends or someone who traded an hour or so of their time and a pint of their […]
  • Surgery is vital in the treatment of cancer – it’s used to help diagnose, treat and even prevent the disease – so a new colorectal cancer study linking a decrease in surgeries for advanced cancer to increased survival rates may raise more questions than it answers for some patients. The surgery-and-surviv...
  • Age is the single greatest risk factor overall for cancer; our chances of developing the disease rise steeply after age 50. For geriatric oncology nurse Peggy Burhenn, the meaning is clear: Cancer is primarily a geriatric condition. That’s why she is forging inroads in the care of older adults with cancer. Burh...
  • One of American’s great sportscasters, Stuart Scott, passed away from recurrent cancer of the appendix at the young age of 49. His cancer was diagnosed when he was only 40 years old. It was found during an operation for appendicitis. His courageous fight against this disease began in 2007, resumed again with an...
  • When Homa Sadat found a lump in her breast at age 27, her gynecologist told her what many doctors say to young women: You’re too young to have breast cancer. With the lump dismissed as a harmless cyst, she didn’t think about it again until she was at a restaurant six months later and felt […]
  • What most people call a “bone marrow transplant” is not actually a transplant of bone marrow; it is instead the transplantation of what’s known as hematopoietic stem cells. Such cells are often taken from bone marrow, but not always. Hematopoietic stem cells are simply immature cells that can ...
  • Doctors have long known that women with a precancerous condition called atypical hyperplasia have an elevated risk of breast cancer. Now a new study has found that the risk is more serious than previously thought. Hyperplasia itself is an overgrowth of cells; atypical hyperplasia is an overgrowth in a distorted...
  • Don’t kid yourself. Just because it’s mid-January doesn’t mean it’s too late to make resolutions for a happier, and healthier, 2015. Just consider them resolutions that are more mature than those giddy, sometimes self-deluded, Jan. 1 resolutions. To that end, we share some advice from Cary A. Presant, M.D., an ...
  • Sales and marketing executive Jim Murphy first came to City of Hope in 2002 to donate blood for a friend who was being treated for esophageal cancer. The disease is serious. Although esophageal cancer accounts for only about 1 percent of cancer diagnoses in the U.S., only about 20 percent of patients survive at...
  • Aaron Bomar and his family were celebrating his daughter’s 33rd birthday in September 2014 when he received alarming news: According to an X-ray taken earlier that day at an urgent care facility, he had a node on his aorta and was in danger of an aneurysm. Bomar held hands with his wife and daughter and s...
  • Explaining a prostate cancer diagnosis to a young child can be difficult — especially when the cancer is incurable. But conveying the need for prostate cancer research, as it turns out, is easily done. And that leads to action. Earlier this year, Gerald Rustad, 71, who is living with a very aggressive form of m...